Cover Image: At the End of Everything

At the End of Everything

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Member Reviews

A group of teens in a privately run juvenile detention center get abandoned as a plague descends on the world. The group splinters: some deciding to take their chances on the road; some deciding to stay in hopes they can remain safe. This book focuses on those who stayed, and each chapter changes perspectives. Among those perspectives is reluctant leader Grace, who must make difficult decisions everyday to keep the others alive -- and keep them from turning on each other. 

The concept of the book is interesting, though, for me, it was too soon to read about a pandemic when we're still in the midst of one. There was a lot that hit a little too close to home. But perhaps that increased my empathy for these characters -- just kids, misunderstood, and now abandoned. Their resilience, instincts, and willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good left me rooting for them. 

There were certain parts of the book that felt a little unreal (when they had access to phones and internet, why didn't they post on social media about their plight?), and I wanted to see perspectives from a couple of other characters, especially Casey. I also was curious about the team that left the facility (though there is an update on them later in the book). 

This is a dark, angsty book, but contains some nice, quiet moments of hope.
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Logan is living at Hope Juvenile Treatment Center. She shares her room with her nearly identical twin Leah. Life is very regimented with guards watching the residents every move. One day the girls awaken to find that they are alone. No one is there to supervise them, cook, or guard. Such a strange occurrence. The girls decide to go to the closest town to see why they are alone. As the girls approach, they see that the town is guarded by soldiers and surrounded by fencing. They are ordered back to the center. A highly contagious disease is sweeping the country. Food supplies are low and the surviving girls wonder whether they can survive or not. 

This is a youth survival story. Can girls pull together for survival? Will they be able to trust each other? It is a beautiful story about resilience and the human spirit.. Such a timely story keep you entranced from start to finish. Marieke Nijkamp is a talented author!
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First and foremost, thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy of At the End of Everything in exchange for an honest review. 

I’ve just finished reading an ARC of At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp and I absolutely LOVED it. This was a great 5/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me. 

One day, the juveniles at the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center, where delinquent teenagers are sent for various reasons, are abandoned and forgotten by those who were supposed to take care of them. A few curious teens break out to get freedom from the center. They are surprised to run into armed soldiers who tell them that an infectious disease, a plague, has broken out and everyone is confined to their houses and they are not allowed to travel without a permit. Stranded at Hope, the teens who decide to remain there are forced to find a way to survive. With their dwindling food sources, limited medical supplies, and with the plague having broken out within the facility, they have to bind together to make it. 

There are three main characters and three points of view throughout the book. Each of the three main characters are white. However, the book is full of people of different races and nationalities. There is also a non-binary transgender teenager who was kicked out of their religious parents’ home. Too many authors nowadays are forcing diversity they don’t want into their stories. The problem with this is they write their characters in offensive manners. Nijkamp, however, doesn’t do this. When they describe a character’s skin tone, they do so in such a way that you can tell they aren’t forcing the diversity. For example, a character named Khalil is described as “Dark-brown hair, light-brown skin, laughing brown eyes.” I also love that Nijkamp didn’t try to write about the injustice black teens experience in the justice system. They didn’t want to take away space from a writer of color. 

“This is what the plague looks like. It’s not illness, at first. It’s fear. The type of fear that nags at the back of your thoughts, that crawls like a parasite under your skin. It’s like every bruise that brushes against my clothes.” The story itself was slow. Not in a bad way, but in a good one. They took the time to humanize each character, even the worst ones. They make you feel like you truly get to know the characters of this book. Not just the three narrators but the characters who surround them as well. I could write an entire book on how this book made me feel and the profound thoughts I had about life, fear, and COVID while reading it. 

It was surreal to read about a plague when we have one of our own going on in real life. The plague in the book was far worse than COVID is but still, it was emotional to read about. I’d say the genre of this book would be YA Dystopian Psychological Thriller. 

This book will be published on 4 January 2022 and I can’t recommend it to others enough!
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A dark but optimistic look at how life would be like if Covid had hit harder leaving young characters stuck in a juvenile center.
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ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review.
At the End of Everything is about a group of teens at a juvenile detention center that end up cut off from the outside world. The bubonic plague hits the country and the teens must fend for themselves. I enjoyed the premise of the story and the survival and fight the teens had to persevere through the negativity.

Spoilers:


What I didn't like was how the group that left, somehow they all died but one person. The story didn't cut to those members and how they fought for survival. I also didn't like how the book just ends and we're supposed to believe that the survivors in the center lived and nobody else died from the plague. What happens next? Are the kids rescued? Wth was that ending?
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I was really unsure of how I would feel about a pandemic based novel, but I really enjoyed this book. It is fast-paced and shows the resilience that young people have (even when they are from all walks of life). It was almost a little *too* relatable at a couple of different spots, but I appreciated the little details throughout, especially the heartbreaking phone call transcripts. Well done!
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Where do I start , first thank you Netgally for letting me read. 
I loved this book from the very first page. I connected with these kids. It's a story about kids in a juvenile Treatment Center who are forgotten in the wake of a pandemic. This story i wasn't ready for... I felt all of their emotions and I recommend  this book to everybody. It was a five-star for me for sure a must read . Especially being in 2021 and living with a pandemic this book hit close to home.
 I just don't want to get into it because I want everybody to go into the book not knowing too much about it like I did... you'll be in for a wild ride. I connected with grace the most.
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Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is home to teens without hope. 

One day, the guards and doctors are gone. The teens have been abandoned by the system that was meant to help them. But what has happened? Why have they been left alone?

In a storyline that is just a bit too close to home, a pandemic has taken over the world and no-one is safe.

As supplies dwindle and the plague finds its way into their remote world, the group have to decide do they stay or do they go? Who can they trust?

This was an intense book to read, made even more so by the current state of our world and the pandemic changing our lives forever. I read this during Melbourne's 6th lockdown due to Covid-19 and it hit me hard.

The teens of Hope Juvenile Treatment Center were already lost, abandoned by society, family and friends - what possible future can they have now when the whole world is seemingly without hope?

Will this make them or break them? Will it bring out the best in a group of teens who are locked away because of their criminal past, or their worst?

Not an easy read, but a valuable one.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooksfire for the advance readers copy to read and review.
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Trapped inside a juvenile detention center when a plague breaks out (not Covid but similar), the chapters are about different characters and how they learn to survive through it,
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I read this book as an ARC and this is my review. I believe this book is extremely important in our world today. It deals with the daily handling of issues like trans genders, gender equality and racial equality. It also takes place in a treatment center with non-caring staff. The subject is timely - a pandemic with the population masked and in lockdown. I loved this book also because it was unputdownable - I wanted to read it all night long! I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller with incredible characters.
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Thank you for my early review copy.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I believe this book will be a huge bestseller.
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At The End of Everything was a book I was prepared to dislike immensely. The beginning of the book did not endear most of the children of Hope Juvenile Treatment Center to me in anyway. I almost set this book down and walked away…. but I am so glad I didn’t. In an eerily similar to current events story, the plague hits the country and panic ensues. The children from Hope are left to their own devices. Treated like they are disposable, the adults all just walk away. Left to find food and medical supplies, the children learn quickly and through pure ingenuity— they find the will to survive. The children show determination and such character growth that they begin to worm their way into your heart. By the end of the book, you are celebrating their wins and grieving their losses in such a way that the book becomes something you are so glad you didn’t miss. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from NetGalley.
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This was an okay Young Adult Dystopia book. I liked the premise of it, where young adults are in the Hope Treatment center and something happens and the adults all leave.
Here is what I wish...I wish that the young adults had more fully developed back stories. We get glimpses, but the book would have been so much richer if the reader knew about why each one of the teenagers were in the treatment facility in the first place.
Second, I wish that we didn't find out what was happening till a third of the way into the book. I wish that we had more nuance then the guards and the warden leaving AND THEN we find out why.
I wish that there was some build up to what was going on outside of Hope Treatment.
Third, I absolutely hated the pronouns for Emerson. Because the reader never got a full picture of his/her background, it was absolutely a drag to read THEY/THEM/THEIR constantly. I could not get a full description of what they looked or why they ended up at Hope.

This book has so much potential. Just a bit MORE was needed to make this a blockbuster hit of the autumn.
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At the end of everything is a good book to good here in the middle of Covid. Just like all of Nijkamps books, there is so much you don’t see coming. There were a few characters I did not love, but overall the book was good.
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It's a good thing the story has a warning at the beginning because I definitely think anyone that reads it needs to be aware. The concept of the story is that teenagers in a juvenile lockup center are unaware at the beginning of what is going on as the world shuts down due to a pandemic.

I felt a very Lord of the Flies connection with a more modern storyline. Instead of the group of young people being trapped on an island this time they're trapped in a facility. But the same type of hierarchies exist.

I personally did not enjoy this story but I definitely can see others liking this type of thriller. If you were going to place it in a school library I definitely think it should be limited to the older students with the librarian being aware of who's taking it out.
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2.5 stars rounded up to 3. What an uncomfortable reading experience; I don't mean that in a negative way but it brought back all my fears and feelings about the pandemic, which still isn't over. It wasn't groundbreaking but I do appreciate how YA authors l create worlds that are expansive even if this was a bit two dimensional. If you still have anxiety over COVID I'd recommend skipping but if you can read about something similar and have abit of Hope, this is a good one to try. But also, I'm disturbed by the idea of forgotten children in the middle of the Ozarks during a plague
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Marieke Nijkamp does it again with another fabulous read!

This book had me hooked once I began. A number of unruly, troublesome teenagers are homed at the Hope Juvenile Treatment Centre. There are guards who supervise their daily goings-on, the youngsters at the Centre have a daily schedule they have to adhere to, rules they must follow, set times for lights on/lights off, regularly scheduled meal times, school time, therapy time, etc.

The story unfolds from various POV's of the teens' residing at the Centre. I enjoyed reading from their various points of view as it allows us to get a back story of their lives, what their upbringing was like, their families, what trouble they seemed to get into that brought them to the Centre in the first place, their personalities, etc.

First there are girls, Logan and Leah-siblings at the Centre that are very close to one another. They have their own unique way of communicating with one another, since Logan is unable to speak. Next meet Emerson-the "new kid" at the Centre. Emerson is non-binary and goes by they/them. Then we meet Grace-she has anger issues, but will stand up for friends and what she believes in. There are several more teens in the novel at the Centre and we learn a little about all of them in turn. One night the teens notice that there are no guards, no adults at the Centre anywhere. Confused, they go about the Centre trying to figure out what is going on. Did the guards all just up and vanish, disappear? What is going on?

What unfolds is fast-paced and suspenseful. I enjoyed flipping through the pages to see what exactly was going on and what would happen next. I mean, to have all the guards at the Centre suddenly disappear without a trace is definitely weird and strange. I enjoyed this novel and the several main characters that we are introduced to. All the characters had their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Some were likeable and some not so much.

A good novel that I would recommend.
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~At the End of Everything~

The Hope Juvenile Treatment Centre is supposed to rehabilitate troublesome teens. In reality, the centre is just a prison for these abandoned delinquents. With a rigid schedule, guards constantly patrolling, and your usual group of bullies, the teens at Hope would do anything to get out of there. Then one day, the guards, teachers, therapists, fail to show up. Everyone seems to have just disappeared out of thin air. What seems like a stroke of luck at first, a chance to escape, quickly becomes something much more sinister. When the teens decide to venture outside, they come face to face with a group of soldiers refusing to let them leave. Turns out there is a deadly virus spreading, a plague, and no one is allowed to leave their homes. Which means the teens are forced to stay in the one place they never wanted to call home. Hope. 
As supplies start to dwindle, and the virus finds its way into the centre, the group is forced to make life changing decisions. Above all else, they must learn to live with the fact that they’ve been abandoned. Or more precisely, forgotten. 
When I first read the description for this book, I immediately decided to request it on NetGalley. Abandoned teens in an apocalyptic setting? Yes please. This book was an incredibly interesting read, and like all books has it’s pros and cons. I personally really enjoyed the fact that each chapter was a different person's point of view. Seeing inside the mind of the different characters, and seeing how differently they reacted to situations, was very fascinating. I also really appreciated the way the author documented phone calls between characters and their families, and documented information on the virus. I feel like these small details added very nice touches to the book. However, the one thing that I feel could have been done differently was the buildup of the plot. The idea of this book itself was phenomenal, and I liked the way the author touched on important topics such as transphobia, racism, and ableism. While these are all incredibly serious topics that should be addressed, I feel like the focus of the book became just about these issues. As a result, there was no actual climax of the book, just small events and then a conclusion. Overall, I appreciate that the author brought to light such important topics.

Genre: Young adult/Thriller
Age: 13+
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5
Release date: January 4th, 2022
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I had high hopes for this one but unfortunately it fell short. Firstly, there were too many characters. It became confusing and hard to keep up. Second, it felt like I barely got to know the characters. They were hard to connect to for that reason. Lastly, it just felt like a lot was left out.
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Apocalyptic! I loved this thriller about an outbreak spreading throughout the world and no where is safe. These kids are broken and young. They are troubled and yet they have to survive. Talk about all the therapy they will need after this one...
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